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IndyPendant July 7th, 2008 10:46 PM

MP Guide to MA Ermor
MA Ermor is a strange nation. It is a bit of a one trick pony, with a few strengths and a great many weaknesses. What sets Ermor apart from other single-themed nations (such as EA Caelum) is that its few strengths are very good, and actually do manage to compensate for its many weaknesses--even in MP games. For that reason, I believe MA Ermor is a very good nation for MP newbies.

When I started writing this guide, it sort of grew out of my control, so I've broken it down into sections. I would love your feedback, and I plan to edit this guide appropriately from the responses I get, updating it regularly. This guide is written with a decided MP slant, and for the player that already has at least a little Dom3 experience.

Recruitable Ermor Leaders:
Scout: Useless unit. No different from the indy version, so a waste of a castle recruitment.

Assassin: Very limited, niche unit. Useful in early game if your opponent has weak mages that can't cast useful spells, or if you've screwed up and built a castle without a temple or lab.

Centurion: Useless unit. The Legatus Legionis is better in every way.

Legatis Legionis: Very limited, niche unit. The other unit (besides the Assassin) to recruit if you don't have a temple and lab in a castle. I can't think of any other use for this unit.

Ermorian Cultist: Very limited, niche unit. 5 gold cheaper than an indy priest, and can lead 10 more undead. Only worth recruiting if you don't have a lab in your castle. Otherwise, build a temple without a castle somewhere and recruit indy priests there instead.

Thaumaturg: Your bread and butter, core leader. Wonderful little guy, 1S1D2H for 130 gold. Army leaders, communion members in mid and late game, sometime reanimators, and your primary researchers all in one unit. You will be building hordes of these guys. Their one weakness is they are somewhat fragile; they are vulnerable to assassinations, Mage Duels, and Seeking Arrows.

Censor: A reasonably good leader for the cost, but in fact is a niche unit almost never recruited. Why? It is capital-only, and recruiting one of these means you are not recruiting a Grand Thaumaturg. I often recruit one or two in the very early game when gold is scarce, for patrolling and storing the hordes of longdead horsemen and shadow vestals until I can transfer them to my mound kings.

Grand Thaumaturg: Simply put, from about Turn 5 onward, build these and only these in your capitals each and every turn. 2S2D + 1AWSD (100%) + 1AWSD (10%) is good, but it's the 3H which is the big deal. Reanimation, baby!

Notable Indy Leaders:
Mound King: Summonable leaders requiring only Enchantment-2, 1D magic path (so your thaums can cast them), and 3 Death Gems. This unit along with the Thaumaturg will lead most of your armies. Mapmove of 4, and able to lead 40 regular and 80 undead units. I often research Enchantment first specifically for this leader. See General Strategies below for reasons.

IndyPendant (heh) Nature Leaders: There are a zillion of these all over the place. Get a lab and temple down asap in at least one province (don't bother with a castle unless it's a good spot for one) and recruit one a turn for researching, sitesearching and forging. Empower one of them to N2 if you must to start climbing the Nature Ladder, but usually it's better to wait for Const-6 and a Ring of Sorcery first.

Indy Priests: These H1 leaders are surprisingly useful for Ermor. Set 1-3 temples down somewhere and recruit them whenever you have the coin. Have them accompany your armies in small groups, casting Reanimate Soulless in provinces with corpses outside of battle, and Blessing near your Thaums during battle.

Recruitable Ermor Units:
Slinger: The standard indy version. Almost never worth it for Ermor; all of the uses for this unit either are not easily accessible to Ermor (Flame Arrows spell) or you have better alternatives (patrolling provinces, as a counter for elephants).

Velite, Alae Legionnaire, Hastatus: I have never found a use for these units. I hesitate to call them completely useless though; we'll see what kind of responses I get.

Principe: The bread and butter of your recruitable units, and one of the Big Three. Low gold, reasonable resources, good stats, tower shields, and mapmove 2. I generally recruit as many of these as I have gold and resources for each turn, after my leaders have been recruited.

Triarius and Praetorian Guard: Rare, niche units. Better stats than Principes, but they cost more in gold and resources, suffer from old age, and have mapmove 1 and battlefield move 6. I have never found a use for them.

Standard: Silly name, but very useful unit in small quantities. Worth the greater gold cost (same resources) vs Principes, despite their slightly worse stats. I usually include 1 Standard for every 5-10 Principes. Can also sometimes be useful for enhancing the morale of your Shadow Vestals.

Retarius and Gladiator: Solid niche units. Incredibly cheap, but only good for one battle then they're gone whether they survive or not. I have never recruited them, but in this case not because I can't think of uses for them. Just keep in mind that they're gone after any battle! They're patrolling and you discover a scout? Poof. Attack a 1-PD province with them? Poof. Etc etc.

Shadow Vestal: Ah, the shadow vestal. Second of the Big Three. Capital-only unit, so recruit as many as you can each and every turn, whether you have gone with a bless strategy or not. Without a bless, they're still very good; with an Astral Bless (my favourite), as few as 10 can take most indy and PD provinces by themselves. They have 0 Prot, but 16 defense and small shields, a mapmove of 3, and they are ethereal. They're not good enough to build an entire Bless Strategy around though.

Lictor: The other sacred capital-only unit, but not worth it in comparison to Vestals. Better prot and not undead, but lack of shield, mapmove of only 1, resource cost of 24, and not ethereal, all add up to make the Lictor inferior to the Vestals in almost every way. And every Lictor you recruit is one less Vestal.

Other units:
Ghouls: You can Reanimate these units with any Holy caster, but doing so kills that province's population, slowly but surely. Slightly better stats than soulless, and they are the only non-summoned undead units besides your vestals that are not Mindless. Still, there aren't many situations where ghouls will prove useful. One example of a good use would be to wipe out a swamp with a gold site, then set the province's taxes to 200%, but even then the ghouls themselves are just chaff.

Soulless: Reanimate these only with H1 leaders, and only if there are corpses in the province or if you have nothing better to do with them, even preaching. You can also Reanimate them using H2 leaders, but that's only worth it if you have an excess of corpses in a province. (The soulless you get are both better and more numerous when you Reanimate them in a province with corpses created by a battle.)

Longdead Warriors: The default unit to Reanimate for H2 units. Usually not worth it, unless your army is stopped somewhere without a lab (besieging, turtling up, waiting for reinforcements, that sort of thing). Researching/ crafting/ etc is almost always better.

Longdead Horsemen: The third of the Big Three units that will comprise your armies for most of the game. Requires H3 to Reanimate, so (usually) only possible with your Grand Thaumaturges, but you get 6 of them per H3 priest, so you should be setting them to Reanimate whenever you are not forced to craft, sitesearch, or fight with them. This unit is the reason you recruit a Grand Thaumaturg each and every turn in your capital, and why they never research.

Lion Tribe Archer: These independent units deserve an honourable mention. They only wield short bows, but they have a mapmove of 3, so they can keep up with your horsemen and vestals. And they only cost 10 gold and 3 resources! They're almost good enough to make a Big Fourth. Plunk a castle down on these boys to supplement your principes, vestals, and horsemen.

IndyPendant July 7th, 2008 10:47 PM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
Pretender Creation:
--Bless: Fire, Air, Water, Death, and Blood blesses are all somewhat useful as minor blesses if you have the points to spare, although the vestal isn't good enough to build a massive bless strategy around. Earth and Nature blesses are largely useless for Ermor; the reinvig isn't all that useful for your thaums, who will primarily be casting Holy, Communion, and other low-fatigue spells; the +4 prot from Earth-9 is unnoticeable for your Vestals--they'll die in one hit either way; and regeneration and berserk rarely have a chance to kick in since your vestals are almost always either unwounded--or dead. If you are considering a single-bless strategy, Astral is the easy winner for a variety of reasons (see 'Oracle' under Pretenders, below).

--Scales: Order is very useful to Ermor, arguably even critical; you want to build as many castles as possible to catch up on research (which you will always be behind on), to get as many thaumaturges in play as possible, and to recruit as many principes as possible. Production should be set to Sloth-3; quite simply, you don't need it with all the castles you will have. Heat/Cold should be neutral. Growth/Death is debatable; I like Growth-3 for the cumulative late-game income, but their skill in Death Magic allow your old-age mages to suffer much fewer afflictions, and they'll very rarely get feebleminded or diseased even with some Death Scale. Luck/Misfortune is by far the most debatable; I like Luck-3 for the extra income and gems (and not having to worry about retaking provinces lost to indies!), but Misfortune-2 can also be worth it depending on your preference and Pretender, if paired with Order-3. (But if you take Misfortune then do NOT take Death!) Magic/Drain should always, always be set to at least Magic-1; having your thaums go from 4 to 5 research is a 25% increase to your total research per turn--for only 40 design points!

--Dominion: Can be anywhere between 4 and 10. If you plan to lean heavily on vestals (as I usually do), you should go at least 7. Higher Dominion also helps spread your better scales.

Pretender Selection:
--Oracle: My favourite. Best taken with a S9 Bless, for a number of reasons: it's incredibly cheap with an Oracle; S9 gives your vestals and thaums MR +3 to help resist late-game spells; Twist Fate essentially gives them a second life--doubly powerful for early-game vestals in combination with their etherealness; and S9 also allows your Oracle to cast massively powerful late-game spells such as Wish and Master Enslave. The Oracle's primary disadvantages are its lack of both mobility and magical diversity, but with a little care and foresight these are not crippling issues. I prefer an Imprisoned Oracle with S9, Dom10, and OT+3/PS-3/HC0/GD+3/LM+3/MD+1. Sometimes I will sacrifice some Dominion, Growth, and/or Luck to take a few levels in a secondary path(s), for the Minor Bless and Crafting options.

--Rainbow Mage: The idea here is to take Dominion that is just enough to stave off a Domkill, balanced scales, and an awake or sleeping magic-diverse Rainbow Pretender. One example: Awake Enchantress with Dom4, OT+3/PS-3/HC0/GD0/LM-2/MD+1, and F3/A3/W2/E3/S5/D1/N3. Your options are almost limitless here though--with one exception: if you go this route, then you absolutely must take at least E2S2, for Hammers and Coins. Going Rainbow is a perfectly viable option, but harder to properly succeed with than the Oracle, since instead of playing to Ermor's strengths, you're trying to (somewhat crudely) patch some of the nation's weaknesses. You also have a slower start, since you usually have worse scales and less Dominion for Vestals than the Oracle build above.

--SC: Sacrifice scales and bless for an awake SC pretender. Helps for rapid early expansion--but is very difficult to properly utilize. Your SC is hard to properly equip due to Ermor's minimal early-game research and limited magical diversity, you sacrifice late-game scale benefits to get the SC, you already have rapid early-game expansion through your vestals, and you have other options available to counter early-game bless- or elephant-rushes. Simply put, the SC is not a recommended option for Ermor.

Your top priorities should always be Thaum-1 and Enchant-2, for Communion and Revive King respectively. Your research is always going to be at or near the bottom during the entire early game, because your Grand Thaumaturges should be Reanimating, and your Thaumaturges frankly suck for research. I have played MP games where my research has stood at zero for nearly twenty turns! Once you hit mid-game, all those castles you built should start to pay off, and you'll eventually (around turn 40 or 50) catch up in research to a solid middle position.

After Thaum-1 and Enchant-2, your options start to open up. You should concentrate your research to gain Astral and Death spells targeted towards your immediate needs. Elephant rushed? Research Thaumaturgy for Frighten, Mind Burn, Paralyze, Terror, and Soul Slay. Fighting Caelum or Vanheim? Research Construction for airshield robes against Seeking Arrow, or if you have time Conjuration for Manifestation assassinations for his Thunderstrikers. If you don't have or need a specific goal, some good general mid-game goals are Conjuration-5 for Acashic Record, Conjuration-8 for Well of Misery, and/or Evocation-7 for the wonderful Nether Darts.

Late game you will likely want Alteration-9 for Wish, Conjuration-9 for Tartarians, Construction-6 for crafting, and so forth. About the only schools you won't want to eventually have at level 9 are Construction (most likely best to stop at 6) and Evocation (best to stop at 7).

Oracle Strategy:
This is an example strategy that you can use in a MP game. I have used it in the last few MP games I've played as Ermor, and it has served me quite well. (I have yet to win a MP game with Ermor though, so you might want to adapt this example rather than adopt it. ; ) The first few turns tend to be slow, but you catch up very quickly.

On Turn 1, set your Centurion to Patrol, set your province taxes to 150%, move your scout out exploring, and recruit a Censor and the few vestals you can. On Turn 2, set your Censor to patrol, transfer your army (including the vestals) to him, set your Centurion to Become Prophet, and recruit a (regular) Thaumaturg and more vestals. On Turn 3, expansion begins.

Set your Centurion Prophet to Reanimate Horsemen, adjust your tax rate as necessary, recruit more vestals and a Grand Thaum, and set the Thaum you recruited, all your vestals, and half of your starting army to attack a high-resource, weak-unit neighbouring province. On the battlefield, place the Thaum a bit behind and at an angle to the vestals, place the Vestals to Attack Closest behind the regular units, which are set to Fire Closest, and set your Thaum to Unholy Blessing/Protection Sepulchre/Blessing/Power Sepulchre/Power Sepulchre. On Turn 4, set your Grand Thaum to Reanimate, add the horsemen and vestals to your patrolling Censor, have your battle Thaum attack a gold-producing province, and recruit another (regular) Thaum and vestals. On Turn 5, send out a second battle Thaum with your new set of vestals and the other half of your starting army. Leave your horsemen for now with the Censor to Patrol for coin, monitoring and adjusting your tax rate as necessary. Every two turns thereafter, send out a new army of vestals and principes led by a thaum, until you have 4-5 armies out there gobbling up indy provinces.

Meanwhile, asap--preferably by Turn 5 at the latest--start building a second castle, temple, and lab. (You did take Order-3, right?) Send out 2 Grand Thaums--preferably one with A1 and one with W1--to sitesearch, and every second turn send another Thaum out with vestals and principes until you have 3-5 armies gobbling up indies. Set the rest of the Grand Thaums to Reanimate. Build as many castles as possible wherever useful, using indy leaders. Recruit Thaumaturges and set them to research for Enchantment-2 and Thaumaturgy-1. As you approach midgame, start growing massive armies led by eight (regular) Thaums casting Communion Slave/Master and the Big Four Holy Spells, supported by Mound Kings as needed. Declare war on someone, or destroy the fool that declared war on you--they probably saw your pathetic research and thought you an easy kill. Secure NAPs with everyone else if possible. When your gold finally catches up with your castles, stop Patrolling your home province, and start using summoned Mound Kings to ferry a never-ending flood of vestals, principes, and horsemen to reinforce your horrifying armies.

By Turn 20 or so, your Army Size graph should be at least twice as high as anyone else's (except maybe Pangaea), you should be at or near the top of the Forts and Income graphs, and your Research should be dead last. You should constantly be at war with someone, to keep your hordes and hordes of undead busy. This is usually the period of the game where you are most vulnerable; try to avoid fighting on two fronts until your home territories are reasonably secure.

By Turn 30 or 40, you should be off the scale in the Army Size graph, scaring the *HELL* out of the other players. Your Forts, Income, Gem Income, and Dominion should all be at or near the top of the graphs. Your Research score should be somewhere in the middle--but pay attention to the angle of your line on the graph; it should be steeper than most of the other players, indicating you are gaining on them. Some fancy diplomacy may be required at this point to keep two or three opponents from ganging up on you. Ironically, you should try not to be too high in graphs other than Army for a while longer--to avoid the other players ganging up on you! This is a very common danger in MP games. If Graphs are set to Off, your options open up a bit more, but you should still be careful with diplomacy.

Try to diversify your magic as much as possible; if you have a Rainbow Pretender, this should be easy enough--and is the main justification for using Rainbows. If not though, Nature should be easy to find, but the other paths--particularly Fire--can be very difficult if you don't luck out with indy provinces and/or magic sites. There are guides available to help you with magical diversity, so I won't bother putting that here, except to mention that you should not bother trying for the Artifacts or Elemental Kings/Queens in (most) MP games; someone else will have beaten you to them, count on it.

IndyPendant July 7th, 2008 10:47 PM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
Random Stuff:
This is a grab-bag of brief general strategies, in no particular order, that you can add to your game as needed/wanted. I will probably add to this section semi-regularly.

--Ferrus, the Iron Wizard: Keep an eye on the Mercenaries. If you see Ferrus, you have researched at least Const-4, and you don't already have an alternative source of earth magic, buy him at (almost) any cost! (I once payed nearly 2,000 gold to ensure I would get him in a MP game.) Then when you have him, build one Earth Boots and two Crystal Coins. Pay whatever seems reasonable to you from then on, and if you keep him have him craft and/or cast Gnome Lore as needed until you lose him. (Of course, if you started with a Rainbow Pretender, or have some other way to reach at least 2S/2E, don't bother with Ferrus.)

--Obscuro and/or Mamor: Other good Mercs. Again, if you have Const-4 and no good source of at least A2 try to buy one of these mercs (although you need not bankrupt yourself to do it). Then get them crafting Winged Boots. Why? See next.

--Winged Boots: Grand Thaums were recently changed to have a mapmove of 1. Pain. In. The. ***. If you want to move them away from your home province, you're usually stuck with Teleport. Winged Boots will give them a mapmove of 2 however, and allow them to ignore terrain obstacles. Much better for sitesearching. I usually try to craft at least 3 of these, particularly since I rarely have a better use for air gems until very late in the game.

--Master Gibur: This is the last merc I will mention. You should buy him if you have Const-4, and no way to reach W3. Have him craft one or two Robes of the Sea, then perhaps site search for a while.

--Seeking Arrow: Another pita that deserves a mention here, since your mages are vulnerable. Two good counters are Robes of Missile Protection and/or simply flooding your armies with hordes of Mound Kings, scouts, indy leaders, etc. If you have 4 Thaums accompanied by 15 or more chaff leaders, Seeking Arrows become less of a problem.

--Province Defense: Ermor's PD is actually quite good, although not truly exceptional. I like to set all provinces to PD 1 in early game, then change it to 10 sometime in midgame, with 20-25 for castles. PD 10 should be more than enough to defeat even multiple Call of the Wild and Call of the Winds spells from other players, and PD 25 should keep most Misfortune-caused indy attacks from locking down a castle, even without patrollers.

--Countering opponents: In mid and late game, I like to field mega-armies composed of dozens of vestals, over a hundred principes, and hundreds of horsemen. If you do this, your biggest concern is caster-heavy enemy armies. Try to identify these and cast as many Manifestations (or Mindhunts if they have no astral leaders) each turn as you can on them; Leprosy can also do well against some armies. Against bless-heavy armies, your best bet is often overwhelming hordes of horsemen. Against SCs, your horsemen may work well; if not, your only real counter is either the standard anti-SC spells (some research should find good advice for you) or in late-game, SCs of your own.

--Midgame Battlefield: I usually have 8-10 (regular) thaums, accompanied by some Mound Kings and Indy Priests, with every massive army. My standard array is to have the first 4-5 thaums set to Communion Slave/Nether Darts x4, and the next is set to Communion Master/Divine Blessing/Holy Avenger/Terror/Fanaticism. The others are set to Communion Master, then one each to Unholy Blessing, Protection Sepulchre, and Power Sepulchre, followed by anything you want from the third round on. Some good choices: Personal Luck/Resist Magic/Astral Shield (which all will be cast on the Communion Slaves as well); Fanaticism/Raise Skeletons/Terror/Enslave Mind/Soulslay/Disintegrate; and if you have the gems, Power of the Spheres/Darkness/Doom/Shadow Blast/Antimagic/Will of the Fates. There are other options, but these are a good start. As to the units, I like having Principes right at the front edge set to Fire Closest, with Shadow Vestals just behind them set to Attack Closest. On either flank I have horsemen set to Attack Rear. The casters are spread in a line either just in front or just behind the Vestals, while the mound kings are set at the very back to Stay Behind Troops.

--Endgame: Is all (and I do mean exclusively *all*) about SCs and massive battlefield spells, with armies all becoming so much generic chaff, their unique qualities rendered almost completely irrelevant. All the variety between the nations, that makes Dom3 so special, blends into the same few limited strategies, making every end-game play out pretty much exactly the same way (with only minor differences here and there). I frankly despise Dom3 endgame (can you tell? ; ), so I don't have a lot of advice to give here. Some brief research on general endgame strategies should give you enough material to apply to Ermor.

--Attrition: By mid-game, you should be producing more units than the second and third nations combined. You should be trying to reduce your own losses whenever possible, but don't worry if you are losing twice (or even thrice!) as many units as your opponent, so long as you are hurting him in the process. You can almost always replace your losses much easier than he can. I love drowning my opponents in endless waves of undead in MP games, adjusting my tactics and positioning based on his actions. It can be crude, but it's a delightfully effective strategy for Ermor. --However! If you lose a battle without harming your opponent at all, that is a huge red flag, warning you that you need to change your tactics--and quickly!--to start wearing your opponent down again.

--Pale Riders, Manifestation, Mind Hunt: Great spells to ruin your opponent's day. Be careful to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and to use them appropriately.

--Well of Misery, Astral Focus: Great globals to cast, and rarely dispelled.

--Burden of Time, Utterdark, Arcane Nexus: DO NOT cast these spells, unless and until you are ready to take on every player at once. If you do cast any of these spells (and they're not just immediately dispelled by the other players pooling their resources), you will almost always instantly be at war with everyone. And note that your thaums are not so skilled in Death Magic that they'll be able to shrug off the effects of Burden of Time.

--Your Vestals have stealth. One viable tactic is to research Conjuration, summon an undead-capable stealthy leader, and raid your opponent's provinces. I usually prefer Pale Riders for rading, but this can work as well.

--SCs: Tartarians are no longer the no-brainer choice for end-game SCs they once were, now that they have 25% insanity, and often with malicious effects such as pillaging and destroying temples. Bane Lords can make surprisingly effective thugs if you equip them minimally (Bow of war, Eye of Aiming, and maybe Pendant of Luck is one good example; Frostbrand, a good shield, Pendant of Luck, and maybe Boots of Quickness is another--but your options here are almost limitless). Wraithlords are also good with Ethereal, Fear, and Chill--but a little fragile for their cost. Harvesters of Sorrow can be effective as well. And Tartarians used as army units (as opposed to leaders) can be a good way to spend your death gems as well.

--Blood Magic: MA Ermor can get into blood magic if you want, easier than many other non-blood nations. If you want to go this route however, you must plan for it from the beginning. The rewards in the end can be massive if you manage to pull it off! A brief search of the forums ought to give you some example strategies you can adapt to build a viable blood slave income.

IndyPendant July 7th, 2008 10:47 PM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
(Reserved for later, in case I need more room.)

Saxon July 8th, 2008 04:58 AM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
Interesting guide, thanks for pulling something substantial together on MA Ermor, it has not gotten much attention in the past.

One comment, you have Fanaticism being cast three times in one script. If I recall, it is only effective once per battle. I am not sure, but if so, you donít want to burn your script up with something that only works once. Personally, I almost always put Fanaticism at the end of the scripts. My thought is, more units have been wounded then and can benefit from the boost in morale.

It is also worth mentioning the usefulness of Death Mentors to counter the research problems this nation faces. Death gems are common with your paths and they are easy to manufacture with your Grand Thaumís. I tend to slap them on indy mages and let the national mages focus on re-animation.

Tied to that, to get really big armies, you need to re-animate more than just horsemen. Yes, horsemen are great, but the capital only recruitment limits the total size you can pull off. The long dead and soulless are not that exciting, but when you have hundreds of them, backed by Darkness, Army of Gold or various other buffs, they are dangerous. They are also, by definition, chaff. You need some of that to protect your horsemen, who should not be thrown away so lightly.

I like the Oracle build, I will have to try it out.

Ming July 8th, 2008 10:34 AM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
Excellent guide.

The danger point of your strategy seems to be at the mid-game, before your late game spells are ready. I would suggest finding the design points to add E2 which could lead to dwarven hammer and Troll Kings (and hence important E path buffs before the late game spells are ready). Sacred statue is also a possible alternative as it can substitute as an SC in an emergency in the middle game.

IndyPendant July 16th, 2008 08:14 PM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
Thanks you two. I hope my guide proves useful to others as well.

Good point about Fanaticism, Saxon! I had somehow forgotten that it (and Sermon of Courage) or only good once on a unit. I will edit my post accordingly.

I'm afraid I don't agree with Skull Mentors and Reanimating Longdead, though. Skull Mentors require Const-4 to craft; by the time you get there, it is either Turn 25+ or you have sacrificed other strategies significantly to get there. The Mentors also cost 10 death gems (or roughly 7 death gems + 3-4 earth gems each, if you can get hammers), plus 6 Horsemen each to craft. And those death gems become far too useful in mid-to-late game to 'waste' 7-10 a pop on Mentors. They just are not worth it imo.

Similarly, for Reanimating Longdead, your research is already going to be dead last for almost half the game. Pulling out Thaums to reanimate when Principes can be used instead, would cause you to fall too far behind in research, even for Ermor. You would just be entering mid-game when everyone else is solidly end-game! Mentors can make up for some of that--but then, again, you're researching Const-4 too early and using up precious death gems. I use my thaums for research and fighting, that's about all I can afford.

Ming, Hammers are definitely useful. But again, by the time you start crafting with Ermor, you're into the mid-30's in turns, minimum, and usually later. By then you will most likely have found at least one indy E1 mage. Empower him to E2 if you must, craft the boots, and start cranking out the hammers. Even without Earth on your pretender, you will most likely have it on someone by the time you need it for crafting. Earth is definitely useful, don't get me wrong. But I don't think it's required on your pretender.

And I'm not sure what you mean by "Sacred Statue". Perhaps Telestic Animation? If so, there are many problems with this. The units have mapmove 0, and require Thaumaturgy-7 and S3 to summon. Which means by the time you can cast them, you're most likely at or near end-game--and your Grand Thaum is not Reanimating horsemen for a number of turns in the process as he limps/teleports to the province you want them at. I can't think of a single use for this spell, where the time and gems involved would not be better served elsewhere. Or am I missing something?

Thanks for the feedback! (And sorry it took so long to respond. I've had an unexpectedly busy week. ; )


Duggernot December 10th, 2008 12:24 PM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
Telestic Animation

I am currently in a MP game playing Ermor Broken Empire using the Conceptual balance 1.3. I never tried casting the spell before this, but now it is Thaumaturgy level 2, and to me it SCREAMS "Ermor spell." For 5 Astral pearls you get 5 Longdead a turn forever


sum1lost December 10th, 2008 01:13 PM

Re: MP Guide to MA Ermor
I played against MA ermor, which was played much like you describe in a recent game, and managed to beat them. How?

First, MA ermor isn't terribly good against lifeless troops, including undead. They have powerful death magic, but they use a lot of undead themselves, so many of their counters will take out their own troops as well. Same goes for golems, etc.

Second: Ermor has some very powerful, very expensive mages with astral. They don't have very much astral compred to their actual cost, though. This actually makes them fun targets for magic duels- most other mages with astral will be a much better deal compared to the amount of damage they do. I saw a game where Jotunheim dropped an ermor advance by recruiting sages and vaetti hags with astral, and mind dueling the tar out of ermor. Any astral nation, or nation with decently priced astral indies, can do an excellent job at this.

Third: Old humans. Ermor mages are old, their troops are human, and often old. They have undead, but without their human back up, the undead aren't nearly as scary. If you can afford a burden of time (playing as pangaea, or ryleh, or vanheim), a few turns will devastate Ermor. This is really a late game strategy, and only works for a few nations.

Fourth: Chaffwalls. Ermor relies on its chaffwalls to protect its powerful communions, especially midgame. If you can get through these- I've tried tramplers set to attack rear, my own chaffwalls, mass flying, and battlefield wide spells (earthquake and solar brilliance), you can stop them.

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